The Start-Up Revolution: Why Going the Start-Up Route is Better than Going Corporate
Searching for job opportunities may be one of the most time-consuming, frustrating activities to exist. Scrolling through Indeed becomes mind-numbing. Sending in resumes becomes taxing; typing the same information that’s in your resume in tiny little boxes becomes angering. But, alas, it must be done. The energy-draining task of jumpstarting, or even furthering your career is one that seems tedious but, ultimately, it’s necessary. It’s difficult, sometimes downright impossible, to exist in this world without making a decent income (thank you, capitalism). Even more, going corporate can seem like a bleak life to live—everybody isn’t cut out for the monotony of a 9-5. Luckily, with the rise of start-up companies, you don’t have to acquiesce to the college-to-corporate pipeline to be successful.
My first job was a paid internship at a start-up company in Baltimore, MD that specialized in mental health. I was 16 years old, with no real job experience, but I was a bright student with an enthusiastic work ethic. Unbeknownst to me, this job was one of the best things that ever happened to me. At such a young age, I was allowed a voice in the company—I offered suggestions that affected the whole team, created new systems to advance to the organization. Most importantly, I was allowed to grow and mature in a space that cultivated growth and maturity. With activities like team lunches on Friday, I was afforded bonding experiences that not many are lucky enough to gain. I made close relationships with my boss and coworkers, something I needed at that age and still seek out in job positions. And even more beautiful, I witnessed the rapid growth of the business, growing from less than two dozen clients to hundreds in only two short years. If anyone asked me to choose between a start-up or a corporate business, I’d choose the start-up without pause. Start-up positions not only offer immensely more flexibility, they also allow your voice to be heard in a way that doesn’t always happen in large corporations.
But of course, these large corporations do have attractive benefits: 401k-style benefits. While many start-ups don’t initially have these glamorous packages, they do usually offer freebies—free travel, free food, and other free services. Plus, if you’re trying to escape the humdrum lifestyle of the corporate world, start-ups have extremely flexible work hours. For me, working for a start-up also allowed me to hone critical and creative thinking skills, cultivate self-initiative, and develop a confidence and pride in my work; I wasn’t afraid to voice my opinion or offer new suggestions. The skills this start-up further established traveled with me throughout the course of my educational and personal careers, and above all made me realize that my voice—my thoughts, my ideas—are important. And that experience is something I wouldn’t give up for the world.
Now, life in the Start-Up World isn’t all butterflies and roses. It can be frustrating sometimes. It can be unorganized at others. It’s a new company, so things won’t always flow smoothly, and “trial and error” becomes your best friend. You also will probably have more than one role in the company, which, depending on the type of person you are, can be positive or negative. For some, this type of environment isn’t conducive—that’s perfectly okay. But for those creative individuals looking for a bit more independence and willing to exhibit a bit more initiative with the roles of their careers, these humble start-ups are most certainly the way to go. They’ll teach you quick thinking. They’ll allow you to make a difference in the company. But most importantly, they allow you to grow in the most indescribable and magical ways.